Lately, I have been sharing a series of classroom management strategies on this blog. Today's strategy doesn't come with a handout. Everything I do in creating the culture of my classroom starts with relationship.
Recently I learned what happens when I don't have relationship. For two weeks in July, I taught science workshops at a private school. I had never set foot on the campus, I knew none of the staff or students, and I was using someone else's classroom.
I had a wonderful time getting to know the people at the school. It wasn't until I started the second week, that I realized I had a disadvantage. One of the students started to argue with the others, and when I tried to intervene he ignored me and walked away. I didn't have a relationship built with him, and I had very new relationships with everyone else.
For sixteen years I have taught in the same neighborhood. I have watched families grow up and taught siblings. I had solid relationships with parents. When there were conflicts, I could resolve them because everyone knew me as fair.
I did get the support of the vice principal at the science workshop. I was able to resolve the situations in the classroom. My experience caused me to appreciate the network of friendships I have had during my teaching career.